News

Tuesday 3rd November 2020

If you are visiting this web-site for the first time, a very warm welcome; and for those of you who are 'old hands' welcome back! I hope you will enjoy having a look around.

New on this page is an arrangement of The Servant Song in memory of a friend and member of my home church, Joy, who died last Wednesday. She was very fond of this song, which also has beautiful words. We felt we wanted to retain the hymn-like quality without it being too rigid and regimented, and think it works - we hope you do too! Scroll down towards the bottom of this page and it is the fifth track. We hope very much you also like our other arrangements of some of our favourite well-known worship songs! Simply click on a title and listen.

There is a little bit of a sense of 'deja vu' with what is going on nationally, as we prepare for another lockdown - albeit with exceptions. It is going to be hard this second time around for many people - not only financially but socially - many find the winter months and dark evenings challenging in normal times. I hope those of you who are reading this will not be suffering too much. There are so many implications to this pandemic, but I feel we must continue to go with it and do as we are told (not always easy!), take all necessary precautions and look out for others.

My home church, St Peter's, is open for private prayer for four hours three days a week, and it is a pleasure to steward one of the sessions on a Tuesday; and there is a 9am service on Sundays limited to 30 people. After ten years with us our Vicar Susan has just retired and moved back to Bristol with her family - a huge loss for our church and the wider village community. Susan has worked incredibly hard and has had particularly special pastoral gifts. My other church, Shoreline, where I play as part of the music group (see below for a link) and which has been meeting with a maximum of 30, is now suspending Sunday services for the next four weeks. There will be an online service on Sundays as well as the mid-week Pause for Thought. I am missing my Wednesday duties as Chaplains' Assistant at Queen Alexandra hospital in Portsmouth (understandably they had to be suspended, but I will not hesitate if the department should become overwhelmed and I am asked to go in) but for Talking News we have been recording at home since March, with weekly recordings going out online (and, more recently, on memory sticks again).

John and I very much hope that our music may bring many of you comfort and strength at these challenging and difficult times.

We are approaching the season of Remembrance, for which our music is particularly suited; and I am delighted to say that my composition The Long Adieu is to be played at the Act of Remembrance for the (this year, online) World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims service of Remembrance to be held in London on 15th November, as well as at other regional services. Please visit the Remembrance page for more details.

I am taking time out from performing - though continuing to write, mainly for pleasure. I am very sad to have to say that the cruise company, Cruise and Maritime Voyages, went into administration in July - I gather it was a small company and obviously the pandemic has hit it hard. Sadly the postponed cruise rescheduled for next Easter will not now be going ahead.

I always value and enjoy too playing as part of the worship group at Shoreline Church, a community church is Stubbington, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year and moved to a new venue, the Crofton Hall at Stubbington Community Centre, last year. More details at https://www.shorelinechristianchurch.com (type in your browser) where you can find links to the online church during this current crisis.

My music, and that with John, continues to touch many hearts - and is especially poignant at times of sadness and loss and for reconciliation purposes. Our music seems to have a capacity to bring people together, and this ties in with a comment from one of the vergers at Peterborough Cathedral a couple of years ago that meant a lot to me. The cathedral is used to holding more formal lunchtime concerts during the summer months, but he said that some of them can be a bit highbrow and described my music as being 'inclusive rather than exclusive' - appealing to a wide range of tastes. I took what he said very much to heart and would hope that my music always serves to draw people in rather than turn them away.

And it is always heartening, and humbling too, for both John and I, to receive and read your correspondence. Thank you so much. I would like to share one of the messages with you and have put it on the Reviews page. It is from a lady who has heard me in Norwich Cathedral, and I am grateful for her kind permission to reproduce it, anonymously.

On the Radio page are some interviews which hopefully give an insight into my life and music. For more details on Blue Is the Sky go to http://rsmithcompany.moonfruit.com/#/blue-is-the-sky/4590394637 (you will need to type it in your browser).

I am increasingly being asked where our music is available. Apart from this web-site's Online Shop, and a number of internet sites, our CDs are on sale in a number of Christian bookshops around the country. All are available through Amazon and/or to download via a number of internet sites including iTunes and CD Baby. Simply go to one of these sites and type the title and/or our names in the Search box.

My Jesus, My Saviour
Endless Hallelujah
I Will Offer up my Life
You Alone/Mercy Medley
The Servant Song

Happy listening!

Charles

Something Music Ltd